Thursday, 23 October 2014

Lily at one, Amotai at three

A strange thing just occurred to me. Spring will never be what it was.

Of course the arrival of the season has always been nice: blossoms, daffodils, ducklings, the return of warmth and sunny evenings. It's not quite as dramatic as it is in the UK because we have so many evergreens and the winter isn't so grim, but it's still an uplifting time. But now, for us it is even nicer because both of our children were born in the early Spring. A beautiful day at this time of year will always remind me of the day we took Amotai home and took him out on the deck to get his first sunshine (a couple of days before we should have, which might explain his olive complexion), or of light streaming through the windows of the lounge while Lily lay in her basket.

Both of our children had their birthdays in the last month, Lily's first and Amotai's third. We had a horrendous run of illnesses in early September, with Lily picking up hand, foot and mouth at creche, then passing it on to Amotai, who scratched his sores and picked up a virulent bacterial infection. Then, when Lily was finally well enough to return to creche she got rotavirus. A vomiting baby with spots, a runny nose and explosive diahorrea is not one of my top parenting experiences.

Thankfully they were through this by the time their birthdays came around, so we had some lovely times with them and with family who traveled a long way to visit us.

So now Lily is one, and not really a baby anymore. And Amotai is three. As he would say "I'm not a little boy, I'm a big boy!" This is a snapshot of our children.

The most physically remarkable things about Lily have always been her mop of hair and bright blue eyes. First thing in the morning her head looks like a haystack with sapphires hidden inside.

She's a feisty little thing, quite independent compared to Amotai and with a mean angry face (usually when something is taken from her, which unfortunately her brother does a lot). She's very keen to explore - particularly now she's walking. The speed that she's picked it up is amazing - it seems like in the last week she's gone from 80% crawling to 80% walking. She's even able to walk carrying things now, particularly her newfound favourite toy, Grumpy Cat.

Giving Grumpy Cat a brush
Lily's other likes? There's singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which is something she picked up from creche (at least there was something aside from illness). There's books too, which she's recently become really interested in. Initially it was the touch and feel ones like the That's not my... series, now it's others like the charming Toddle Waddle and classic Brown Bear and sequel Baby Bear.

It's nice to say that she also likes it when Dad comes home. I usually get a grin, a crawl or toddle over to me and "Dadadadadadad".

At Staglands
Amotai often gets complimented on what a good boy he is, and he is, but recently he has belatedly entered the terrible twos or, given his age, become a 'threenager'. That means he often gets stroppy as he tries asserting control of his world - he's very particular about certain things, such as how sandwiches are cut or which parent does what, and will very firmly let you know what he doesn't want.

Grumpiness is the exception to the rule though. He's a sweet boy who loves cuddles, almost always summoning me to give him one in bed during the night, books, playgrounds, Peppa Pig, the Wiggles and going to sleep with soft toys Pinky (my old elephant), Bluey (his new elephant) and Babydoll.

Most of all he loves things with wheels, a fascination he's had since he was a baby and I used to take him to watch the traffic on the road outside. He loves riding his bike (particularly if I'm riding the dump truck behind him) and lining up his cars - like his Dad he finds it satisfying putting things in order.

Also like his Dad, I think he's a slight introvert - though he does have some good friends in Cooper, Scarlet and particularly Cassandra, who's been his best mate since they were one.

They're two different people, our kids, but they like each other and we love them. Looking forward to many, many Springs to come!